Though it can be used any time during a project, North Star is most helpful at the beginning of a project or when developing the foundations of a brand, product, or service.
This exercise helps with goal-setting and evaluation by generating aspirational adjectives to help guide the process and gauge success along the way.
Developing concrete descriptors to establish goals and inspiration
Step 1: Describe
Using a Post-Up, ask the group to spend 3 minutes writing down the top adjectives they would use to describe a specific business, project, product, program, etc. (These can be aspirational!) Adjectives should be kept to one word (only with exceptions like “forward-thinking”). Though values often come up as descriptors and can be recorded, they do not qualify as North Star adjectives.
Step 2: Share and Group
After three minutes, ask the team to share their adjectives are shared with the group. Before each individual sticks their word to the wall, they should read it aloud to the team. Explanation can be offered, and discussion can follow. Using Cloud Grouping, sort adjectives into categories.
Step 3: Sort and Prioritize
Using dot voting or another sorting method, help the group come to consensus on the top three to five North Star adjectives. This list should be recorded and displayed or saved in a place where everyone can reference it. The North Star will help guide all phases of the process or project.